For 65 years billiard professionals around the globe never came close to matching the run of 526 balls set by legendary player, Willie Mosconi! Not only did Hesperia, Calif., resident and professional billiard player John Schmidt match that longstanding record – he surpassed it by 100. Schmidt broke the record on Memorial Day 2019 at Easy Street Billiards in Monterey, Calif. Schmidt’s 626 ball run in straight pool, or 14.1 continuous, is a monumental effort in mental toughness and perseverance.
To understand the magnitude of this feat is to compare it to some of sports most legendary records: imagine surpassing Cal Ripken, Jr., in the most consecutive games played. How about besting more than 28 of Michael Phelps’ Olympic medals, or topping Bobby Fischer’s longest winning streak in chess.
Schmidt, 46, achieved the record in just under four hours, and “caught lightning in a bottle.”
“Maybe my forte is I can stay loose, play extremely fast and maintain a very high level of concentration,” Schmidt said. “Then fail and start over.”
Schmidt’s team captured the record-breaking run on video for verification. Mosconi, the undisputed legend, set the 1954 record in an exhibition match. Schmidt devoted much of 2018 preparing to break the record. He’d already been known in circles as “Mr. 400” for his eight runs over 400. His resume also boasts winning the 2006 US Open 9 Ball Championship, a member of Team USA, winning the 2009 Players 9 Ball Championship and 2012’s World Straight Pool Championship.
“This is something that makes me feel so proud,” Schmidt, who’s been playing pool since he was 18, said. “I’ve committed myself to be the best pool player I can – I’ve sacrificed a lot, and this is just really special.”
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